Star All Blacks playmaker Beauden Barrett has signed a lucrative one-season Japanese club deal for next year before seeing out his New Zealand contract up to the 2023 World Cup.
One of their coaches might have dozed off, but the All Blacks were glued to their compatriots’ stunning soccer World Cup opening.
Led by their chief All Whites “cheerleader”, centre Conrad Smith, the All Blacks crowded around the screen at their Dunedin hotel as New Zealand drew 1-1 with Slovakia for their historic first World Cup point in Rustenburg, South Africa.
Even if one of their coaches admitted he didn’t quite stay awake to witness defender Winston Reid’s equaliser for the All Whites in stoppage time, around 1.20am.
“I would say everyone in the team watched it,” assistant coach Wayne Smith said.
“I might have dozed off at the wrong time. I was struggling at one point and I missed New Zealand’s goal. I woke up and saw the result and slept a bit better for it.”
The All Blacks showed their support yesterday when they donned an all white training strip at Carisbrook, each jersey individually named, which will now be auctioned for charity.
Wayne Smith said the All Blacks would be inspired by the result as they resume training tomorrow for Saturday’s Test against Wales.